I always looked forward to the end-of-the-year wrap-up stories and lists in the newspaper and on television. I relish those looks back on the year that was. They remind me what an event-filled year we’ve just experienced. They remind us of all the ups and downs, the positives and negatives.
It’s amazing to me the hours of work that go in to writing one of those pieces, whether for print, social media or broadcast.
I saw a particularly good one on “CBS News Sunday Morning,” on Dec. 31, called “Hail and Farewell,” that chronicled all the famous and some not-so-famous people who died in 2017. What made it stand out? Jane Pauley said a few words about what made each person special, and did a nice job tying together relationships between many of the people we lost. The viewer was not left to wonder who that person was and why he made the list.
I like to think that we’ve all done something important in our lives – in large and small ways. Many of the people on the list were very recognizable. But they highlighted some people who didn’t make any other lists, like Robert Blakeley, who designed the nuclear-fallout shelter signs.
Stopping for a moment to think about what we’ve accomplished and how we might be remembered is a good way to put things in perspective. What a way to end the year.
In the Oct. 27 edition, The Voice ran a story about 11 inspiring Jews who died in 5777. If you haven’t already read it, take a look. It’s also available on our website (www.jvhri.org).
This week, we’ve jumped on the wrap-up bandwagon with a couple of stories written by the JTA that focus on world events in 2017. It’s our way of saying goodbye to last year. In the Nov. 24 Voice, we ran our own account of important events around the world. We’ve placed all our year-end stories and a link to the CBS piece on the home page of our web site, under “Year end reviews.”
At year’s end, there are lots of surveys taking stock of how people feel about the important issues of the day. I find this fascinating, too. It’s only natural to measure our own opinions against those of others.
For example, each December, the Gallup organization asks Americans about their predictions for the new year. And generally we are pretty pessimistic, which surprised me. This year, Americans are particularly pessimistic about the prospects for international peace, and say that 2018 will be troubled. Eight in 10 feel that way in a poll taken Dec. 4-11, worse than usual. On the other hand, while Americans are generally pessimistic about the economy too, this year they are less so. Fifty-two percent of us predict economic prosperity. So that’s good.
What’s your outlook on 2018? And what’s your game plan for making it better?
As we move on to 2018 with our annual health and wellness issue, we’re hoping you will consider working on becoming healthier in the new year. With no end in sight to this cold weather, perhaps it’s time for a new exercise routine at home or in the gym. What else? Read a new book? Organize a closet? Take a class? Study in a new group? Prepare something different for dinner? The possibilities are endless. Let us know what you plan to do. Perhaps we’ll have enough responses to publish our readers’ outlook for 2018.
A happy New Year to all our readers!